Inaugural stationary bike riding challenge to support Great Lakes Burn Camp

NILES — Nonprofit members of the Niles Burn Run are inviting people to bust out their tennis shoes and break a sweat as they blast away the miles on a stationary bike during the inaugural Heroes Ride Pedal for the Camp event.

The fundraiser will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA, 905 N. Front St., Niles The cost is $25 per rider or $100 to sponsor the event. The proceeds will benefit children to attend the Great Lakes Burn Camp.

While the Niles Burn Run is best known for their summer event, which draws thousands of motorcycle riders to blaze across southwest Michigan for the cause, nonprofit president, Steve Adolph said he wanted to think of a way to raise additional funds during the winter.

“It is a great way to get in shape. You can come down and see what’s at the YMCA and learn more about the Burn Run,” Adolph said. “There are so many people that have never heard of the Niles Burn Run. We are doing everything we can to get people involved. It is a really great charity.”

Adolph said the goal through the Heroes Ride event is to raise between $3,000 to $4,000 for the cause. Each kilometer that participants ride will be logged and the goal is to reach 5,000 kilometers in 12 hours.

Twenty stationary bikes are available for the ride, so people are encouraged to sign up and fill a slot. Adolph said people can choose to ride for 20 minutes or two hours, whatever they feel they want to contribute. 

The Great Lakes Burn Camp runs entirely on community donations and seeks to help youth burn victims from all over the country find a place to heal amidst other survivors. The Niles Burn Run organization is one of the top three financial supporters of the camp.

Adolph has been involved in the Burn Run for the past 10 years, and has had the opportunity to see just how big a difference the camp makes in a child’s life.

“They get to go to camp for a week and just be a kid,” Adolph said. “The younger kids look up to the older kids and they look up to each other. The campers they just love it.”

The week-long summer camp takes place in Portage. It costs $600 each for a child to attend the camp.

Adolph said they thought the inaugural event would offer a bit of an escape from the winter blues and perhaps help those with a New Year’s resolution to stay on top of their fitness goals.

“It is coming right off of New Year’s Eve and Christmas … when people are doing a lot of eating and going out dinner,” Adolph said. “It is a good time to get back on that stationary bike.”

Those interested in signing up can do so on the Niles Burn Run website at nilesburnrun.com/pedal.

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